Medtronic Ups Dividend 25%, Boosts Buyback Program

By Tomi KilgoreMarketWatch Pulse

Medtronic PLC approved on Friday a 25% increase in its quarterly dividend to 38 cents a share, from 30.5 cents. The new dividend will be paid out on July 17 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 29. The Ireland-based medical technology company said it expects to increase its dividend per share payout ratio to 40% of adjusted annual earnings per share within the next few years from the current rate of 35%. "This substantial increase in our dividend and expectation to increase our dividend payout ratio within the next few years reflects our increased financial flexibility to deploy our cash and the confidence the board and our management team have in our business, as well as solidifies our ongoing commitment to our shareholders," said Chief Executive Omar Ishrak. The company also said it increased its share repurchase program by 80 million shares. The stock, which ticked up 0.1% in premarket trade, has climbed 6.3% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 3%.

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